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Rialto to Release Cult Horror Classic 'The Wicker Man' in Restored Director's Cut This Fall

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood August 26, 2013 at 1:32PM

Rialto Pictures has announced the upcoming US release of "The Wicker Man -- The Final Cut," the definitive version of Robin Hardy's 1973 cult horror classic of Pagan worshippers on a remote Scottish island, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The new StudioCanal cut is the culmination of a long, Facebook-conducted search for the complete director's version.
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"The Wicker Man"
"The Wicker Man"

Rialto Pictures has announced the upcoming US release of "The Wicker Man -- The Final Cut," the definitive version of Robin Hardy's 1973 cult horror classic of Pagan worshippers on a remote Scottish island, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The new StudioCanal cut is the culmination of a long, Facebook-conducted search for the complete director's version.

Wicker Man

As a bit of background, the 1973 released cut of "The Wicker Man," shown on a double bill with Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now," was significantly shorter than director Hardy's original vision. The negatives disappeared from storage at Shepperton Studios, and were allegedly used as landfill in the construction of the nearby M4 motorway, and have been deemed lost. 

In May of this year, StudioCanal launched a worldwide appeal to film collectors, historians, programmers and fans to come forward with any information relating to whereabouts of the fim's original materials. "I never thought that, after forty years, they would still be finding lost fragments of my film," said Hardy as the search was being conducted. "We thought all of 'The Wicker Man' had gone up in flames, but fragments keep turning up and the hunt goes on!"

More details on the various cuts of the film are here.

Rialto will begin the roll-out at New York's IFC Center on September 27, with releases in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and other cities to follow later in the fall.

This article is related to: News, Classics, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.